Storms across Kansas City on Friday morning caused widespread power outages affecting more than 17,000 Kansas City Power & Light Co. customers by midday.
High winds and lightning were the biggest problems, with wind bringing tree limbs down on wires, according to an email from KCP&L communications specialist Kaley Bohlen.
She said Johnson County bore the brunt of the outages. But with more storms moving into the area, Bohlen could not estimate when power would be restored.
In Missouri, Brookside resident Dylan Dear called 911 after a power line near his house caught fire around 8:30 a.m. Dear and a neighbor blocked the street underneath the burning power line while they waited for responders from the fire department and KCP&L.
“After about 10 minutes, the line was on fire, and it came down,” Dear said. “This main line that’s hanging across the street, that entire thing was on fire. We know that there was a tree back here that came down during the storm and that, I think, is probably what triggered it.”
Deputy Chief Jimmy Walker, public information officer for the Kansas City Fire Department, advised residents to treat any downed power lines as live and to not touch them.
He said most of the department’s calls involved downed trees and rescues of motorists driving into flood waters on roadways.
“If there’s any water whatsoever covering the road, we always advise you turn around and find an alternate route,” Walker said. “It only takes a very small amount of water for your car to be washed away.”